Know Your Different Styles of Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Depending on how close you are to the packaging industry, you may or may not know that there are actually quite a few different styles of boxes. This blog post will talk about some of the different categories of boxes manufacturers use today.

These different categories of boxes were set by an organization called FEFCO, the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers. They are a nonprofit organization representing the interests of the corrugated packaging industry in Europe.

In the International Fibreboard Case Code file (which you can find on FEFCO’s website, FEFCO outlines eight different series of corrugated packaging. Not all of these styles are strictly boxes, per se. We’ll very briefly touch on each of them here so that you can identify these different types of boxes out in the wild and decide which ones best suit your needs.

This is only meant to be an introductory crash course in boxes, and is by no means comprehensive.

Series-01 Commercial Roles and Sheets

So these aren’t strictly boxes—they’re actually just corrugated sheets. Not a whole lot of variety here, and not a whole lot to say, either. They only have two dimensions, a length and a width.

rolls and sheets of corrugated

Series-02 Slotted-Type Boxes

These are the most common and easily identifiable boxes out there. Slotted-type boxes consist of one piece of corrugated that is glued/taped together at the manufacturing joint and have top and/or bottom flaps. These typically require minimal assembly.

standard rsc

Series-03 Telescope-Type Boxes

The easy way to identify telescope type boxes is by the lid. Telescope type boxes almost always consist of two pieces consisting of a bottom and the top.

boxes with lids

Series-04 Folder-Type Boxes and Trays

These boxes are usually only made of one piece of cardboard and then folded together. Unlike slotted-type boxes (which have top and bottom flaps attached to the side panels), series 04 boxes have the wall and top panels attached to the bottom of the box. The walls and the top are folded from the bottom. You will typically you’ll find locking hinges, tabs, and handles incorporated into these designs.

folder boxes

Series-05 Slide-Type Boxes

These boxes typically consist of two separate pieces, with one of them being a sleeve. The sleeve then slides into other piece to be used as a cover. This group also includes outside sleeves for other cases.

they slide over boxes. Get it?

Series-06 Rigid-Type Boxes

These consist of three pieces—a main piece that will look like a series-02 box and two end pieces. The three pieces will have to be stitched or glued together in order to form the box. This series of box is more rigid and provides extra durability, but is expensive to produce.

more durable than other boxes

Series-07 Ready-Glued Cases

Ready-glued cases typically consist of only one piece which is glued and then shipped flat. The piece can then be constructed without any special equipment. This is useful packaging for companies that want their employees to box something quickly without using tape.

pre-made for easy setup boxes

Series-09 Interior Fitments

No, it’s not a typo. There’s no series-08. Interior fitments aren’t boxes but are inside liners, pads, partitions, and dividers. You’ll typically see these in boxes that are shipping multiple and/or fragile items.

I really don't know what happened to series-08

Our machines are versatile enough to be able to make boxes in each FEFCO series. If you would like to learn more about the capabilities of our machines, download our EM-7 Product Sheet by clicking the button below and filling out a form:

 
(Bonus Extra Credit: Now that you know how to identify all the different types of FEFCO boxes, go to your local supermarket and see how many different styles of box you can identify. Extra points if you shout them out loud as you pass them!)